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The Pushy Parent
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The Pushy Parent

My family loves to go swimming. This is a small issue for me because I grew up in Alaska, and swimming was never an activity in which I took part. I have often been laughed to scorn because I am unable to swim. That is not an exaggeration. For a long time, I couldn’t even float! I have been working on learning how to swim, but I still have a long way to go.
The worst part – my seven-year-old Squirmy Worm and three-year-old Tadpole both swim better than I do! My Beautiful Bride has been teaching them how to swim, and they are both doing quite well. It is quite embarrassing when my son beats me in a race across the pool.
While my family was enjoying a day in the pool, I was floundering around in the water. Squirmy was practicing, and my Beautiful Bride asked if I could help in the swim training. I figured that I was going to be the example of what not to do, but she had other plans. Here is what we did:

  • Step One: Josiah is told to jump into the water and swim back to the edge of the pool. Squirmy was not excited about this – but after much coaxing, we got him to do it. You could see his hesitation, but he does it, and swims back to the edge of the pool without an issue!

  • If you are having issues playing this file – please click here to watch.

  • Step Two: Josiah now has gained the confidence to jump into the pool himself. Now it is time for me to pick up Josiah, count to three, and drop him in the deep end of the pool where he cannot touch the bottom. He does not like the sound of this, but we do it anyway. He does great, and we were so pleased with his progress. Pleased enough that we chose to go on to one more step.

  • If you are having issues playing this file – please click here to watch.

  • Step Three: I shove Squirmy into the pool when he is not ready! Let me explain that step a little more in detail. And share with you some reasons why we did this:

1. He was Ready

I watched as Squirmy did so well swimming. I was impressed with his progress. I then had the thought, but what if he falls into the pool, is he ready for that? How would he react if he is not prepared to fall in? I quietly looked at my Beautiful Bride and motioned, “Is he ready to be pushed?” She instantly nodded, “Yes.” We then started plotting how we would do it.

2. He was Safe

My Beautiful Bride positioned herself right where she needed to be. If anything went wrong, she would be right there to get him. She had a pool noodle for him to hold onto, and she was ready to help him to the edge of the pool at a moment’s notice. Squirmy was not in any real danger.

3. He was Needy

We asked Squirmy to stand at the edge of the pool, and catch his breath so that we could try something else. He stood there and took some deep breaths. While I began to walk up behind him, I started to think. This child is wanting to go to a camp this summer. They have a pool there, and I know little boys. Little boys think it is funny to push others into the pool. I know this because big boys still think it’s funny to try and push me into the pool. Which is why this non-swimming dude never gets into a pool with someone he does not trust! Squirmy might have this happen to him, and he needs to know what to do.

4. He was Loved

I get behind my son and get ready to push. I can say with every fiber of my being – I did not enjoy pushing my child into the deep end of the pool. I did not take pleasure in it. I knew that he would be scared. I knew that he might be upset with me. But I love my child, and I am willing to be the bad guy if it helps him grow. I love him enough to do what he thinks is cruel – so that he can be better prepared for the future.


If you are having issues playing this file – please click here to watch.

Squirmy did great! He immediately began swimming back to safety. I was so happy! He is smiling in the video, but something happened when he got back to the edge of the pool. When Squirmy got back on dry land he began to realize what just happened. It sunk in that I just pushed him into the deep end of the pool. It began to dawn on him that he could have drowned. He began to see that what I had done was very unkind, and he was scared and hurt.

I held my son for a good ten minutes as he sobbed. I comforted him as he kept pleading, “Why daddy? Why did you do that to me?” My heart broke as I held my child. My heart broke as I realized that this is exactly what God has been doing in my life! I feel like I have been pushed into the deep end of the pool, and I have been beating against my Heavenly Fathers chest screaming, “Why, why did you let this happen to me?”

1. Why God? – Because we are ready

God knows what we can handle more than we do. He knows that this trial will not break us, He knows that it will only make us stronger. Stronger in our faith. Stronger in our Love for Him. Stronger in our own abilities. God knows when we are ready!

2. Why God? – Because we are safe

God is right there the entire time. While we are splashing around, trying to get our head above water, God is there! He is there just in case we fail to trust him. Just in case we fail to swim back towards Him, and the safety of His loving arms. He is there to save us – we are never in any real danger.

3. Why God? – Because we are needy

God knows when we need a wake-up call. God knows when there is a need in our life, and this shove into the deep end of life is what we need to get us back on track. So often God tries to patiently teach us and train us, but we are so hard-hearted and stubborn. Sometimes the only option we leave for God, is for Him to shove us into the deep end.

4. Why God? – Because we are loved

God is willing to be the one we rail against. The one we complain too. The one we blame for all of the bad things happening in our life. God loves us enough to let us cry out to Him in anger. He will then hold us and patiently wait for us to calm down so that He can then explain His will and purpose.
My friend – have you been shoved into the deep end of life’s pool? Are you splashing around in the depths of despair, wondering why a loving God could allow such things in your life? May I encourage you – it may seem at times that God is unkind, but He is not! You may be scared, and you may be hurting – But God loves you, and He knows you can come through this trial – despite the difficulties. He knows you are ready. He is there to keep you safe. He knows that you have a need. He loves you enough to put you through this trial so that your need can be met!
The next time we are sinking in the deep end of life, let us place our faith in the ever-loving, ever-trustworthy Savior.
faith

Have you ever struggled to trust God when things were tough? What helped you place your faith in Him? Let us know in the comments below.
Sure, you can send this article to anybody you want. And, if you’re REAL awesome, you’ll even tell them where it came from!

12 thoughts on “The Pushy Parent

  1. Wow….I never thought of it like that, but so true! Thank you for this.
    I frequently notice how we as adults compared to God are still like little children, compared to their parents, or teachers. We don’t understand what He does, or why, just as they don’t. But He truly does know best….we as teachers (or parents) may make mistakes, but He will not.

    1. Absolutely! The older I get, the more I realize how much like a child I still am. It’s such a good thing that we have a Heavenly Father that is full of compassion, and that He makes no mistakes. I for one, still need a lot of patience, training, and instruction.

  2. WOW !!!! Michael, this is great. You made this Grandma feel so frightened for her grandson but also so what you were trying to teach him. I can see where you are heading with this new blog and love it and you. A very well pleased and blessed Mom

  3. This was happening in my pool…I stared at them being in that pool…anxious
    For what was gonna happen I could feel deep within my heart….praying Josiah you can do this…and although I wanted to walked down and stopped this action … I knew in my heart it’s the right thing to do..prepare him for a day that might take place…but folks I can tell this Nana was nervous….lol…….ummmmmm it might not be Michael bride that walks up behind him and shoves him the pool…..it just might be his mother in law..lol…..great story…may it bless and help others….

    1. I am glad that others feel my pain. I am however not so excited that so many others are so willing to “help” me in my time of need 🙂

  4. Such a blessing Brother… I have done this exercise myself and had the same heartbreaking feeling… My daughter wouldn’t even look at me for 20 minutes… On the second and more important thought when I had some major trials in my life and God pushed me in the deep end I forsook my training and instead of swimming to safety I flailed around and started to drown. It wasn’t until I stopped and asked God to show me did he reach out and help. So many times in life we get overtaken with the circumstances we forget that if we trust in our training (Doing what God has taught us) we will be safe… And then even if we stumble He is right there to help us when we call on Him. Great encouragement Bro Case! Excited to follow!

    1. So true that we often don’t swim to our Savior as quickly as we should. But it is so amazing that He is always there for us when we do. How wonderful that He never gives up on us!

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